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Home>Levelset Community>Legal Help>I live in California I have a customer who sent me a partial payment by is not paying the full amount. Can I except the partial payment and adjust the amount owed and then file a lien?

I live in California I have a customer who sent me a partial payment by is not paying the full amount. Can I except the partial payment and adjust the amount owed and then file a lien?

CaliforniaLien Waivers

We did a Mini house for the customer. We have had a hard time collecting the remaining balance. The balance is around $2500. The customer sent a check for $1000. and is refusing to pay the remaining balance. I have done a notice of intent to lien. Can I cash the check and adjust the balance due and then file a lien?

1 reply

Aug 13, 2018
That's a good question! If you're worried about losing the right to lien, California does a good job of protecting potential lien claimants. Lien rights are not waived unless one of the statutory forms waiving lien rights is utilized. On those forms, an "Exceptions" section is present (which I believe you had hinted at in your question...), and the Exceptions section designates certain unpaid amounts as "not waived". So, if a lien waiver is exchanged for payment, a claimant who has not been paid in full should be sure to indicate that some amounts have gone unpaid on the face of the lien waiver. If no lien waiver has been requested in exchange for payment, then a claimant will retain their right to file a mechanics lien for unpaid amounts. Regarding a Notice of Intent to Lien in California: This is not a required document in California, so a claimant may file a lien for an amount that differs from a previously sent Notice of Intent. So, if a Notice of Intent to Lien is sent and partial payment is made afterward, the claimant sending a Notice of Intent may file a mechanics lien for the reduced amount if they'd like to.
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